Mark 12

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Heart for God

June 24, 2018 | Mark 12:28-30 | three commitments

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Christ’s Great Commission commands us to be a disciple-making church. But what kind of disciples? What qualities are we to instill in the disciples we make? That’s where today’s sermon comes in. For the Lord has not only given us the Great Commission. He has also given us the Great Commandment. Today, we’re going to focus on the first part of the Great Commandment which calls us to make disciples who have a Heart for God. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment. In a sense he was asked to simplify all of the writings of the Bible down to one simple statement. He didn’t pause. Jesus told his hearers that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your being, essentially with all your heart. Through Jesus, we can have a heart for God.

“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money” (Mark 12:41 NLT).

March 6, 2018

JESUS WATCHES THE OFFERINGS
Jesus sat near the Temple collection box so that He might watch who was giving and how much they were giving. He did this to illustrate a lesson to His disciples. As they witnessed the rich tossing handfuls of coins into the collection box, the heavy coins made a loud metallic sound as they rattled down the trumpet like opening of the Temple treasury. Surely everyone nearby could hear when the rich gave. Then, a poor widow carefully dropped in two small coins. They barely made a sound as they rolled into the treasury.

Christ’s teaching on this scene was that while the rich seemed to be giving a lot, it was in fact only a tiny part of their surplus. But the poor widow quietly gave all that she had.

Yet, there is another lesson here that Christ gave not by words, but by behavior. Christ is interested in our giving. He watches our generosity. He cares about our giving, how much we give and what motivates our giving. Therefore, when we give, we shouldn’t care whether others are watching, only that Jesus is watching.

“Didn’t you ever read this in the Scriptures?” (Mark 12:10 NLT).

March 4, 2018

HAVE YOU NOT READ THE SCRIPTURES?
Jesus questioned whether the religious leaders and teachers had read a particular Scripture from Psalm 118 concerning the stone the builders rejected. Even as they rejected Jesus, His question pointed them to the biblical prophecy which predicted their rejection. Shouldn’t biblical evidence have changed their view of Him? It should have, but it didn’t. Their view of Jesus was not based on a study of the Scriptures, but on their own political interests.

Believers today, especially those that are called to be teachers and preachers of the Bible, must be careful to base their lives, teachings and sermons on the Bible itself. Human opinion has no authority or power. Only God’s Word can be trusted. But it must be read, studied and taught with the illumination of the Holy Spirit in order to be understood and applied.

In an age when most of us have a Bible in every room and access to dozens of translations online, what an embarrassing question it would be to hear from the lips of Jesus! “Have you not read the Scriptures?”

Celebrate God’s Son

August 27, 2017 | Mark 12:30 | celebrate, three commitments, worship

Love and joy and celebration are connected. And where you focus your heart, where you put your affection, your first love, affects everything. What do you love first? You can tell by what you put first. Who or what comes first in your life? What are you celebrating? What is so important to you that you’re throwing a party, blowing out candles, setting off fireworks for, standing on your feet cheering for it?

Did you know that God cares about what you celebrate? In the book of Mark, Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment. In a sense he was asked to simplify all of the writings of Scripture down to one simple statment. Jesus didn’t pause. He gave them a simple command to celebrate God with all of their love.

“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box…” (Mark 12:41 ESV)

March 6, 2016

Jesus “watched” to see who was putting money into the Temple offering box. His observation is notable. He not only sees the amount of the gift, but He sees the heart of the giver. The rich that gave out of their “abundance” would be most impressive to others, but the widow who gave out of her “poverty,” most impressed Jesus. For she gave all that she had. Jesus still watches our giving. He is still looking for one that would entrust all that they have to Him.

‘And he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower, and leased it to tenants and went into another country” (Mark 12:1 ESV)

March 4, 2016

What is a “parable?” The word parable is from the root word “paraballo” or in the Greek “parabole.” This compound word comes from “para” which means “to come along side or compare” and “ballo” which literally means “to throw.” So, a “parable” is a simple story that stands “alongside” another story and “throws” towards, or points towards, a deeper meaning.
To whom was this parable directed? The chief priests, scribes and elders who had come questioning His authority.
What was this parable’s meaning? The “vineyard” pointed to Israel and the “winepress,” to the temple. The “tenants” were those chief priests, scribes and elders that the owner had left in charge. The “servants” who the owner sent were the prophets. And of course, the son of the owner, that the tenants killed, was Jesus. With this parable, Jesus was actually answering their earlier question concerning by what authority he acted. He was telling them that He was the Son of God and predicting that they would reject and kill Him. And that because of this rejection they would suffer God’s judgment.
He answered them with a parable. But they didn’t understand.

Celebrate God’s Son

October 4, 2015 | Mark 12:30 | discipleship, three commitments

When is the last time you really celebrated? I mean you really cut loose and let joy wash over you? Or are you living a life of duty? Is your life marked by dryness and dread? The spark is gone and you’ve got nothing to look forward to? To be honest, you’re just going through the motions.

Did you know that love and joy and celebration are connected? And where you focus your heart, where you put your affection, your first love, affects everything. What do you love first? You can tell by what you put first. Who or what comes first in your life? What are you celebrating? What is so important to you that you’re throwing a party, blowing out candles, setting off fireworks for, standing on your feet cheering for it?

In this second message in our Spiritual DNA sermon series, Pastor Gary shows us how we can Celebrate God’s Son by loving him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?'” (Mark 12:24 NKJV)

March 5, 2015

This was a devastating critique of the Sadducees’ theology by Jesus. They affirmed only the books of Moses and denied the resurrection of the dead. Jesus declared them wrong on both. There are many today who claim to be teachers and theologians that Jesus would stand against because they dismiss the Bible and deny the resurrection. Do you know and believe the Bible? Do you look forward to the resurrection? What would Jesus think of your theology?

“…And they marveled at Him” (Mark 12:17b NKJV)

March 4, 2015

Even Christ’s enemies “marveled at Him” when He answered their question about paying taxes. Jesus displayed amazing wisdom with such brevity and fulness (“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”). He wasted not a single word, yet fully responded to their complex question. Reading the gospels, one cannot help but realize the otherworldliness of Jesus. Both His humanity and divinity are on full display. There is no other like Jesus. Whether one believes or rejects Him, no one who encounters the Christ of the gospels can help but “marvel at Him.”

First Things First

August 17, 2014 | Mark 12:30 | three commitments

Pastor Gary Combs continues the “Simplify Your Life” series with this message from Mark 12:30. In the book of Mark, Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment. In a sense he was asked to simplify all of the writings of Scripture down to one simple statement. Jesus didn’t pause. He gave them a simple command to celebrate God with all of your love. We can hear and follow this same simple command.